Amid doubts about the state’s voting system, until an incident occurs that unnerves election officials

Amid doubts about the state’s voting system, until an incident occurs that unnerves election officials

Earlier this month, a car crashed into the Chatham County Board of Elections headquarters, shattering glass windows and destroying office chairs and desks.

Since the 2020 election, the board’s offices on Eisenhower Drive have been targeted by protesters, and the county’s monthly Board of Elections meetings have often become charged with anger and frustration, as residents line up to voice their opposition to the state’s voting system. .

As it turned out, the damage to electoral offices was not the result of anger turning into violence. It happened instead because of an unlicensed teenager who was practicing with a parent how to drive in the Board of Elections parking lot and lost control of the vehicle.

But Billy Wooten, Chatham County Supervisor of Elections, said the fact that it was an unfortunate accident doesn’t mean his concerns have been put to rest.

“It was an accident and fortunately no one was hurt,” Wooten said. “But it was also a reminder to me and my staff that we have to be vigilant.”

As campaigning for next November’s election intensifies, so too are challenges in court and the state legislature over the accuracy and reliability of Georgia’s voting system, as well as to those who, like Wooten and his staff, are determined to hold free and fair elections. .

Last week, another bill targeting the state’s voting system was introduced in Atlanta.

Coastal Georgia legislators John LaHood (R-Valdosta) and James Burchett (R-Waycross), along with four other representatives, have introduced legislation that would require Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to create a statewide program to display ballot images for 24 months after each election. .

In another boost for election system skeptics, the state Board of Elections is scheduled today to consider a proposal to ban “no-excuse” absentee voting. Georgia voters have been allowed to vote by mail without an excuse since 2006.

While such balloting has been “helpful” during the pandemic, “even during that period, voting has been chaotic and untrustworthy,” the draft proposal says.

Approval of either measure is uncertain.

Meanwhile, back in Chatham County, police cited the teen who caused the damage on Saturday. Wooten says no critical infrastructure was destroyed.

Meanwhile, Board of Elections Chairman Thomas Mahoney says the entire incident that occurred at the Board of Elections office should serve as a wake-up call.

“We are really fortunate that none of our employees were working at the time of the accident,” he said.

Story type: news

Based on facts, whether directly observed and verified by the reporter, or reported and verified from informed sources.

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